The gorgeous state of Michigan is home to over 100 state parks and recreational areas. While Michigan is known for the Great Lakes, smaller lakes dot the interior of the state, bringing visitors to the largest cities and the smallest towns in search of fishing and lakeside camping. Camping is one of the many activities that draw visitors to the different state parks, and Sleepy Hollow State Park in central Michigan is a park that RVers should add to their list of lakeside stops.
Although the park is quiet and secluded, it is anything but sleepy like the name implies. Visitors can come to the park to go swimming, play disc golf, camp at one of the 181 campsites, and experience nature just outside of the city limits. This state park is home to many species of birds, fish, and wildlife. Visitors can enjoy water activities on the lake, explore some of the 13 miles of trails, or escape into a wooded paradise.
The park, just over 2,600 acres in size, is built around the beautiful Lake Ovid, a small 410-acre lake. People like the cozy atmosphere and come for recreational activities year-round. From camping and fishing to hunting and cross-country skiing, there is an activity sure to suit anyone’s liking at Sleepy Hollow State Park.
Sleepy Hollow State Park is a small park located in Laingsburg, 23 miles northeast of Lansing. Visitors coming from Grand Rapids can be at the park in less than one and a half hours. Just off of MI-462, you can reach the park by I-96 from the south, I-75 to the east, US-131 to the west, and US-127 to the north. This small, but easy to access facility makes a quick getaway attainable from anyplace.
There should not be any difficult driving areas for RVs along the way. However, you may encounter wildlife on the roads since this is a very rural area. It is mostly farmland and wooded areas with level and fairly straight paved roads. It is always a good idea to drive slowly and take a lot of breaks when driving a rig or any type of vehicle.
The whole park is paved and easy to maneuver for the most part, although you may have some difficulty getting situated in the campgrounds if your rig is over 40 feet long. You can also take a side trip and visit the Rose Lake State Wildlife Area, which has over 4,100 acres of wilderness. You and the family will enjoy the trails, biking, hunting, and skiing here, just 12 miles to the south of Sleepy Hollow State Park.
The Sleepy Hollow Campground in the northeastern section of the park has 181 spacious and wooded campsites. The campground is separated into two loops. The North Loop has 100 sites and the South Loop has 81 sites. All of the asphalt camping pads can accommodate trailers and RVs up to 45 feet long. Each space has a fire pit and a picnic table, so you can cook and eat while enjoying the great outdoors.
There are 20- to 30-amp electrical hookups at every site but be aware that select spaces require extended cord lengths. When making your reservations, each site gives details on length restrictions and cord requirements, so you can know what you will need to camp comfortably. Campers have community access to hydrants, a dump station, modern restroom facilities, and a campground office. The tree-lined campground has a playground with horseshoe pits and a basketball and soccer area. Bring along your furry family members too, but don’t forget the leash.
If you have a large group or family gathering coming up, why not get a group campground so you can all stay in one area and spread out? This large campground has several vault toilets, five campfire rings spread out around the area, a potable water access hand pump, and room for up to 50 people. There are also five picnic tables, so you can all sit together and share a meal without having to balance it on your lap in a camp chair.
The group campground is off in its own area south of the southern loop of the main campground. There is also a picnic shelter nearby, and you will be within a short walk to the lake. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance, and pets are welcome but must be on a leash at least six feet long at all times.
If you were thinking of doing something different for your RV vacation to Sleepy Hollow State Park, maybe you would like to rent a cabin and leave the rig in the parking lot. There are two cabins just to the northwest of the campground. These are lakefront cabins where you can walk just a short way to the swimming beach. Each cabin sleeps up to six people and are ADA-accessible. However, one is more rustic and the other is modern.
The rustic cabin allows pets and is nestled in the woods with a picnic table, bench, and fire ring out in the yard. There are no utilities, but you have access to the restrooms and showers at the campground. The modern cabin is a bit larger and fancier with water and a restroom. It also has a picnic table, bench, and fire ring outside. However, this one does not allow pets. Reservations are needed and can be booked up to six months in advance.
If you feel like roughing it, check out the Rustic Campground in the northern corner of the park. The six walk-in campsites at the Rustic Campground are all more than 200 feet from the restrooms and water access. You will have to leave your RV in the parking lot and walk quite a ways to get to the campsites. They are just to the northwest of the cabins and have picnic tables and fire rings at each site.
That being said, site A is closer than the rest but is only for those with mobility issues. Site B is not too much further, site C is a bit further, and so on. Except for site F, which is way on the southwestern edge of Lake Ovid. For that site, you have to park and walk along the trail for about a mile, so pack lightly. Your furbaby can help you carry some stuff since they are allowed to come along for the fun. Reservations should be made in advance since there are only six of these spots and they go quickly, especially during the summer and on weekends and holidays.
Everyone who loves to camp also loves learning more about nature and Sleepy Hollow State Park has programs for all ages. Both adults and the little ones will enjoy learning what types of animals are in the woods around them. Find out how to identify animal tracks, dangerous plants like poison ivy, or the best way to spot wildlife in the woods. From craft activities to hiking the trails, you and the kiddos will have a blast checking out the flora and fauna of Sleepy Hollow.
Visit Lake Ovid, a no-wake lake, and take a canoe or kayak out on the water to see the park from a different perspective. Visitors can rent canoes and kayaks from the campground office during the summer season. If boating isn't your thing, but you love to fish, then take your poles to one of the four fishing piers and try and catch some of the lake’s resident fish. The lake’s fish species include several types of bass, pike, sunfish, bluegill, and catfish. Anyone over the age of 14 must have a valid fishing Michigan license to fish.
Summertime in Michigan is often associated with beaches and waterfront activities. Bring your beach towels, sunscreen, and water toys so you can cool off in the 412-acre Lake Ovid. Or if getting in the water isn’t your thing, enjoy the lake from the tree-lined shore. You can toss around a frisbee or beach ball or help the kids build a sandcastle. The swim beach, located close to the campground, has a large parking area, modern restrooms, picnic shelters, and a beach house.
Winter adventures in Sleepy Hollow State Park are all about playing in the snow. Bring your ice fishing equipment and fish on Lake Ovid’s frozen surfaces. If quiet ice shanties aren’t for you, bring your snowshoes or cross-country skis and venture out on the trails. Snowmobilers will also find the park the perfect winter getaway. If there are more than four inches of snow, throttle your engines and see the park from your snowmobile!
Disc Golf brings people to Sleepy Hollow State Park year-round. The park hosts several disc golf tournaments, and the 18-hole disc golf course is rated moderate to challenging. The tree-lined, hilly course runs along the water, and players can practice at the putting green before venturing out for a round. With a mixture of technical and wooded holes as well as elevation changes and water features, Sleepy Hollow State Park’s course is perfect for everyone. The concrete tees and Chainstar targets make any disc golf enthusiast want to get out there on the green!
No matter the time of year, you will find solace on the trails at Sleepy Hollow State Park. The trail system weaves multi-use and hiking trails together for miles of outdoor recreation. The hiking trails pass through pine trees and prairie grasses, and they intersect with biking and horse trails. The hiking portion of the path is a nine-mile moderate loop. Leashed dogs are allowed on the hiking portion of the trail, so you don’t have to leave your best furry friend behind!